Zine Question

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hammersc

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Aug 19, 2001, 5:38:11 PM8/19/01
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Hey, here's another question from me...something I've been curious about ever
since I first got a zine, and I guess it's time I got around to asking about
it.


I've noticed that zine stories (at least in my experience) don't include the
codes and ratings and warnings one usually finds in an online story... even
when they contain things that might bother a reader (ranging from AU scenarios
to slavery or pedophilia.) They start with the title and author, and that's
it; there isn't even a summary, and any notes are at the end.


Why is this? To save space? Or because printed books don't include them? I'm
not too easily squicked, and the lack of warnings in the zines I've gotten has
never caused me to read something that badly upset me, but it could happen,
especially to someone more sensitive than I am. There isn't even anything
(that I've noticed) on the sites where you order them, to warn that all
stories in zines are effectively NR and could contain anything. But maybe I'm
not looking close enough? and/or not reading a wide enough variety of zines?


Yours in Eternal Inquisitiveness,

Saavant

Prosperity & Longevity

SAAVANT

^".\"/."^

http://www.geocities.com/saavaant
http://saavant.tripod.com/saavant.htm

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
ASCEM messages are copied to a mailing list. Most recent messages
can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ASCEML.

g...@fry16.freeserve.co.uk

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Aug 19, 2001, 6:55:58 PM8/19/01
to
--- In ASCEML@y..., hammersc <hammersc@a...> wrote:
> Hey, here's another question from me...something I've been curious
about ever
> since I first got a zine, and I guess it's time I got around to
asking about
> it.
>
>
> I've noticed that zine stories (at least in my experience) don't
include the
> codes and ratings and warnings one usually finds in an online
story... even
> when they contain things that might bother a reader (ranging from
AU scenarios
> to slavery or pedophilia.) They start with the title and author,
and that's
> it; there isn't even a summary, and any notes are at the end.
>
>
Speaking for myself, the only zine I ever put a warning on was 'Slave
World' (uploaded to my site yesterday) as I felt it unsuitable for
younger readers. That was a personal decision as I was known for
writing gen stories suitable for all ages and felt that it was only
right to put some kind of warning on the title page.

These on-line codes and ratings were new to me and I was advised when
uploading the story to the net on what code to use.
Gloria

Check out my web site of ST fiction at
http://www.fry16.freeserve.co.uk
or use fast URL
http://get-me.to/gloria

Shay...@aol.com

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Aug 19, 2001, 8:56:16 PM8/19/01
to
--- In ASCEML@y..., hammersc <hammersc@a...> wrote:

> I've noticed that zine stories (at least in my experience) don't
include the
> codes and ratings and warnings one usually finds in an online
story... even
> when they contain things that might bother a reader (ranging from
AU scenarios
> to slavery or pedophilia.) They start with the title and author,
and that's
> it; there isn't even a summary, and any notes are at the end.
>
>
> Why is this? To save space? Or because printed books don't include
them?

Good question. Though a better question might be, "Why do online
stories have ratings?" As you note, books and movies generally
don't. Why are they deemed necessary for fanfic? I mean, you pay
your money and you take your chances with pro books, movies, etc.
Why do we need all those codes and warnings for netfic, which is
free? You'd think it would be zines, that might cost $25 or more,
that would require codes and warnings.

Anyway, I don't think the lack of warnings is to save space. Rather,
it's just that it's not tradition in zines -- perhaps because zines
originally had far less diversity than netfic does. Het adult,
slash, and gen tended to be segregated to their own zines. For
slash, there was no need for pairings codes, because it was all K/S.
(Slash stories that weren't pure K/S often did have warnings.)
Multimedia zines, or zines in fandoms where multiple pairings were
common, often did have relationship codes (in the table of contents
and on the flyer advertising the zine).

As for possible disturbing violent/sexual content...really extreme
stories might carry additional warnings (often in the editor's note
at the beginning of the zine), but generally, it was assumed that if
you bought an "adult" zine, you could deal with such themes.

IME, though, "really extreme" for zine stories wasn't nearly as
extreme as "really extreme" for netfic. The editor had to make back
the money it took to print the zine, and that meant that the stories
had to conform to mainstream tastes in a way netfic does not. So
perhaps it was the editor who took the place of warnings/codes. Fans
knew what to expect from certain editors, and made their buying
choices accordingly, rather than depending on warnings.

Duny...@aol.com

unread,
Aug 19, 2001, 8:56:19 PM8/19/01
to
Re Saavant's question,

> I've noticed that zine stories (at least in my experience) don't
>include the
> codes and ratings and warnings one usually finds in an online
>story... even
> when they contain things that might bother a reader (ranging from
>AU scenarios

> to slavery or pedophilia.) <snip> Why is this?

As Shayney said, it's just never been the tradition in zines. Fan fic
in zines traditionally was categoried as gen, adult and slash.
Flyers, zine listings, letterzines and catalogs usually contain that
information; more specific warning are not considered necessary.
Sometimes zineds describe their zine as friendship, hurt/comfort or
other functional categories. Degree of explicitness usually isn't one
of them, in my experience.

The "ratings" probably exist in online fic to protect against
potential liability and prevent people from stumbling upon these
stories unaware. As a practical matter it is a lot simpler to add the
warning than to deal with flames from readers who claim they weren't
warned.

Editors of adult zines do ask for age statements from people who
order through the mail. When zines are sold in person, e.g. at cons,
there is always someone there to tell you what it's in the zine, if
you want to know before you buy it. Once in a print newsletter, a fan
who happened to be a survivor of childhood sexual abuse wrote that
she had inadvertently read a story about about youngish teenage sex
and asked that such stories carry a warning in the future. The issue
was discussed pretty thoroughly and opinion seemed strongly in favor
of *not* putting warnings on such stories. The reasons were, I think,
that people thought it was unfair to single out certain types of
stories for warnings, and that the rule of caveat emptor ought to
prevail.

Judith

chan...@yahoo.com

unread,
Aug 19, 2001, 10:55:56 PM8/19/01
to
--- In ASCEML@y..., ShayneyL@a... wrote:

> Good question. Though a better question might be, "Why do online
> stories have ratings?"

I always figured it was because the zine community was pretty much
closed to outsiders. You got them at cons or through friends and I
assume that if a stranger wrote to the editor of an adult zine asking
to buy a copy, the editor would ask for an age statement. If a
youngster tried to buy an adult zine at a con, I assume she would be
refused. An of-age customer could say to an editor, "Here's what I
like--does this zine fit the bill?"

On the net, the "publishers" have no such controls so the warnings and
ratings are their way of filling those niches.

But I have no idea how this all came about. Were the early
net-fanficcers conscious of trying to provide these things to their
readers?


Chanteuzi

Shay...@aol.com

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Aug 19, 2001, 10:56:11 PM8/19/01
to
--- In ASCEML@y..., chanteuzi@y... wrote:

> I always figured it was because the zine community was pretty much
> closed to outsiders. You got them at cons or through friends and I
> assume that if a stranger wrote to the editor of an adult zine
asking
> to buy a copy, the editor would ask for an age statement.

The zine community wasn't really closed to outsiders. It was
probably smaller than the online community, and therefore harder to
find, but by the mid-'80s, Datazine (which had extensive slash
listings) was advertising in Starlog magazine. I started buying
zines in 1979, strictly through the mail. I didn't attend a con or
meet any fellow fans in person until years later. (It was very much
like Internet fandom, for me, except that it was slower, since it was
all through snail-mail.)

While editors did require age statements for adult and slash zines,
that didn't cover all the various things netfic warnings cover: rape,
slavery, child abuse, bdsm, character death, etc. And for fandoms in
which multiple pairings were popular, there weren't always character
codes, either. And sometimes het and slash were mixed, with no way
to tell which was which until you read the story.

And as Judith notes, sometimes people *did* complain. But generally,
it was left up to the editor. If she felt like labeling stories with
pairing codes, she did. If not, oh well.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the difference was
having editors.

T'Rhys

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Aug 20, 2001, 2:55:06 PM8/20/01
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At 03:53 PM 8/19/2001 -0500, hammersc wrote:
>
>I've noticed that zine stories (at least in my experience) don't include the
>codes and ratings and warnings one usually finds in an online story... even
>when they contain things that might bother a reader (ranging from AU
scenarios
>to slavery or pedophilia.) They start with the title and author, and that's
>it; there isn't even a summary, and any notes are at the end.
>

That's because most zines are themed and/or the editor's submission
guidelines spell out what they will print (no death stories, only happy
endings, etc) so specific codes and warnings aren't usually necessary.
Summaries are mostly only on the editor's flyer for the zine nowdays,
probably due to paper and printing prices. Some multimedia zines did start
trying to code stories in their tables of contents a few years back in
response to grumbling from fen who wanted to be warned about certain
themes, but I don't know if they kept it up.

LL&P }:)
"T'Rhys" <tkn...@ix.netcom.com>

anna

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Aug 21, 2001, 8:55:56 AM8/21/01
to

Gloria, I really enyoyed reading this story even if the Kirk you portray is
a bit on the weepy side. What I would have liked is to have a bit more info
about the slaves. What language where they speaking and - being human or
similar to humans - how did they come to this planet? But the lack of this
information is soo TOS-like, that it rings really true.
Loved the humour you inserted and your writing style in general. Could you
add more of your stories pretty please??? Do you also have written K/S?
greetings
an
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